2019 Listowel Harvest Festival tips – Race-by-race selections for day four of the Irish autumn highlight

Aidan O'Brien can get amongst the winners on day four of the Listowel Harvest Festival

Aidan O’Brien can get amongst the winners on day four of the Listowel Harvest Festival

Brian Healy gives his race-by-race selections and best bets for every race on the fourth day of the Listowel Harvest Festival meeting, featuring the Kerry National.

The Listowel Harvest Festival continues into its’ fourth day on Wednesday, and the feature race of the afternoon on an eight-race mixed flat and jumps card is the latest renewal of the Kerry National which goes to post at 4.15pm.

1:55 – Exchange Inn Ballybunion & Kevin’s Bar Listowel Irish EBF Maiden (Plus 10 Race) (2yo) 7f
2:30 – Listowel Arms Handicap (3yo 45-75) 7f
3:05 – Brandon Hotel Handicap (3yo+) 7f
3:40 – Seamus Mulvaney Bookmaker Handicap (3yo+) 1m1f
4:15 – Guinness Kerry National Handicap Chase (Grade A) (4yo+) 3m
4:50 – Ballygarry House Hotel Novice Hurdle (4yo+) 2m4f
5:25 – M.S.D Animal Health Maiden Hurdle (5yo+) 2m
5:55 – Listowel Vintners Association Flat Race (5-7yo) 2m4f

On another cracking afternoon of competitive horse racing action at the County Kerry track, Brian Healy takes a race-by-race look at the Wednesday racecard and gives his race-by-race selections.

1:55 – Exchange Inn Ballybunion & Kevin’s Bar Listowel Irish EBF Maiden (Plus 10 Race) (2yo) 7f

LOUISIANA (Evens, Coral) offered plenty to work on when finishing seven lengths’ third behind Geometrical at Gowran Park on his debut last month, and sure to be sharper for that experience Aidan O’Brien’s charge could take some beating here.

The Galileo colt looked in need of that first run, wandering under pressure and carrying his head awkwardly; but the form has since been franked with the winner making the frame in the Group Two Futurity Stakes at the Curragh, while the runner-up has won since.

He had finished four lengths ahead of the fourth, so it was arguably a smart performance on his debut and he holds some fancy entries so is clearly well-regarded. He can improve on that first run to get off the mark at the second attempt here.

Donnacha OBrien

Donnacha OBrien can ride a winner at Listowel

2:30 – Listowel Arms Handicap (3yo 45-75) 7f

JERED MADDOX (6/1, William Hill) has been running well of late, getting off the mark at Ffos Las in July with a defeat of Midas Girl, and the Lawman gelding was far from disgraced in finishing three lengths third in a big field at the Curragh latest behind Massa Lubrense.

David Marnane’s charge was only run down late in that outing, possibly just doing too much too soon; but he could go well here in his bid to get back on track from 1lb lower in the weights, and he could have more still to offer.

This doesn’t look the strongest of contests, so every chance he can remain competitive and he can go close.

3:05 – Brandon Hotel Handicap (3yo+) 7f

ANGEL’S AMY (6/4, Bet365) had been in good form prior to bolting up over this course two days ago, and Joseph Murphy’s charge can quickly follow up under a penalty.

The Dragon Pulse filly had finished runner-up in a trio of starts at Gowran Park; but she stepped up on those performances faced with softer ground to run out an impressive five lengths’ victor over Dedilon at Roscommon in August, and that success was followed up when she ran out a seven lengths’ winner over Mean Fomhair here on Monday.

She has a furlong less to go this time around, but she has shown she acts well in the mud and a 6lbs penalty may not be enough to prevent a follow-up win if this outing doesn’t come too soon after those exertions. However, given the easy manner of her win, she likely has more to come and she could prove a tough nut to crack here.

3:40 – Seamus Mulvaney Bookmaker Handicap (3yo+) 1m1f

BELLE CORA (7/1, Ladbrokes) could have more still to offer on the flat despite only showing moderate form, but it could be worth giving Jessica Harrington’s charge another chance.

The Zebedee filly finished runner-up at Ballinrobe in June, and she posted her best finish since when crossing the line in third at the Curragh last month where she was beaten just over two lengths behind Ultra Pride.

Subsequently tried with little success over hurdles at Killarney, she reverts to the flat where a mark of 66 could be workable, and she was only beaten a neck in that last outing behind a subsequent winner so could have more improvement to offer.

Her best efforts on the level have both come on soft ground so these conditions will suit, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see her going close.

Jessica Harrington

Jessica Harrington can get amongst the winners at Listowel on Wednesday

4:15 – Guinness Kerry National Handicap Chase (Grade A) (4yo+) 3m

POKER PARTY (14/1, Paddy Power) wasn’t unfancied for the Galway Plate, but Henry de Bromhead’s charge made an early exit from that contest having unseated his rider at the second fence having been hampered and unsighted. However, the Gentlewave gelding had found some progressive form over the winter months and he could be worth chancing to bounce back if that last mishap hasn’t dented his confidence.

He hasn’t always been fully convincing with his jumping, but he went close to a breakthrough win over fences at Leopardstown during the Christmas Festival where he chased home Speaker Connolly, beaten by five lengths but finishing well clear of the third horse home.

He stepped up on that performance at Naas to run out a five lengths’ winner over Stowaway Fever in January, after which he followed up with a defeat of the useful Monatomic at Naas, scoring by two lengths where he found plenty for pressure in a competitive contest which has since thrown up a couple of subsequent winners.

From there he finished a good third behind Real Steel and Hardline at Punchestown in a valuable contest, and he could be worth forgiving his blunder last time from which he’s been given plenty of time to recover from, and there is a suspicion that he might still have more to offer as a chaser.

Rachael Blackmore is 2-4 on Henry de Bromhead’s charge, and a mark of 138 doesn’t look beyond him given his earlier form prior to his Galway disappointment, so it wouldn’t come as a surprise to see him post a big effort here if his mishap last time hasn’t dented his confidence and he copes with this step up in trip.

Rachael Blackmore

Rachael Blackmore partners Poker Party in the Kerry National

4:50 – Ballygarry House Hotel Novice Hurdle (4yo+) 2m4f

DARVER STAR (Evens, William Hill) is 3-4 in recent outings, and Gavin Cromwell’s charge arrives here in search of a hat-trick of wins following earlier wins at Downpatrick and Killarney following a break.

The Kalanisi gelding latterly ran out a five lengths’ victor over Wait Here having struck by nine lengths the time before, and he could prove a tough nut to crack given his improvement shows no sign of being halted by the handicapper who has slapped him with a 12lbs rise in the ratings following his ready success latest.

That was arguably a stronger race than this, and he drops back into novice company here where a repeat of that last outing could make him hard to beat. He made all the running on that occasion, jumping well, and he had plenty in reserve to score easily.

He holds strong claims of landing the three-timer here, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him collect another win.

5:25 – M.S.D Animal Health Maiden Hurdle (5yo+) 2m

BENRUBEN (3/1, Paddy Power) developed into a smart chaser last term for Joseph Nicholson having won a Leopardstown bumper in December, and now with Joseph O’Brien the Beneficial gelding can improve again returned to hurdles.

He had cut little ice in a pair of hurdles starts for Paul Nolan, but his subsequent chase exploits saw him finish runner-up in outings at Thurles and Navan behind smart types Ex Patriot and Jetz, and he likely would have won a Listed contest at Thurles in March but for falling at the last when holding a slender advantage.

Given plenty of time to recover, he makes his return from six months off the track here where he tackles hurdles on his reappearance; and assuming he is fully wound up then he could take some beating if translating his useful chase form back over the smaller obstacles.

5:55 – Listowel Vintners Association Flat Race (5-7yo) 2m4f

SHANWALLA (15/2, Bet365) has shown up well on a couple of occasions already in bumpers, finding only one too good in starts at Ballinrobe and Kilbeggan the last twice, and this step up in trip can see the Dubai Destination gelding get off the mark at the fifth attempt.

Paul John Gilligan’s charge has shaped like a stayer in his runs to date over shorter trips, and he latterly finished around eight lengths’ runner-up behind Mister Melia where he was unable to match the eventual winner for pace.

He could have more to offer as his stamina is drawn out, and he could go close here despite the presence of a well-regarded Willie Mullins debutante.


1:55 – LOUISIANA (Evens, Coral)
2:30 – JERED MADDOX (6/1, William Hill)
3:05 – ANGEL’S AMY (6/4, Bet365)
3:40 – BELLE CORA (7/1, Ladbrokes)
4:15 – POKER PARTY (14/1, Paddy Power)
4:50 – DARVER STAR (Evens, William Hill)
5:25 – BENRUBEN (3/1, Paddy Power)
5:55 – SHANWALLA (15/2, Bet365)